Hanging scroll, ink and color on silk
Painting: 143.6 x 72.7 cm (56 9/16 x 28 5/8 in.); Mounted: 251.1 x 90.3 cm (98 7/8 x 35 9/16 in.)
Gift from the Collection of George Gund III 2015.589
Other paintings from the same set are in the collections of the Rhode Island School of Design and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
This painting belongs to a group of eight that were likely mounted as a pair of four-panel folding screens representing the Eight Views of the Xiao and Xiang Rivers. The screens were the property of the Date family, who once ruled Sendai in northern Honshu, the main Japanese island. This one represents the theme of returning sails off a distant shore, and is in the style of Chinese painter Li Tang (1050–1130).
Some scholars believe it is the work of Sesshū Tōyō (1420–1506), one of the most famous Japanese painters, or by one of his disciples. Sesshū traveled to Ming dynasty China on a ship sent by the powerful Ōuchi family of Yamaguchi at the southern tip of Honshu. This gave him the distinction of being the only Japanese painter of the Muromachi period to have experienced Ming China firsthand.
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